Coping With Graduate School Stress

Coping With Graduate School Stress

Amber Smith,

Graduate school can be extremely stressful, especially if you are returning to school after a long break. You need to find a way to deal with the stress so that you can make it through your program even while working a full-time job and taking care of your family.

They’re Not Out to Get You

In graduate school, your professors will not be out to get you. If anything, they will be more helpful than professors you’ve had at any other time in your life. They want everyone to succeed as your failure reflects negatively on both the teachers and the program.

Ask For Assistance

If you do find that you’re having difficulty in graduate school, ask for help. It really is the right thing to do. Like I said, professors in graduate school are eager to help. The key is that you have to ask for assistance before you’re in deep trouble so that you’ll have time to bring your grades up.

Stay Balanced

If you have a family at home and a job and other commitments, giving your time to graduate school can be difficult and frustrating. Do your best to stay balanced by remembering that some things are urgent and some things are important, but the important ones should almost always win.

Make New Friends

If you are returning to school, this is even more important. Make new friends. Even if everyone in your program is half your age, you can still develop new friendships. Plus, since these students are accustomed to being in school, they can help you understand how everything works.


Whether you run or spend time with your family or go out for dinner with friends, be sure to take a break from studying. Taking some time to relax will keep you balanced and keep your family supporting your schooling instead of feeling like they’re competing with it.

What to Remember

When you’re stressed out in graduate school, particularly after a couple of semesters, remember these things:

They’re not out to get you.

You can ask for assistance.

Stay balanced.

Make new friends.


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